Community ecology

Conspecific negative density dependence in a temperate forest

Exploring how plant-insect interactions could shape the spatial distribution of trees in a UK woodland.

Seed natural enemies and tropical forest diversity

Investigating the role of pre-dispersal seed predation in the maintenance of tropical plant biodiversity.

Microbial mat community assembly in Antarctica

This project explored how extreme environments can shape communities and whether environmental filtering plays a role in the assembly of microbial mat communities.

Adaptive potential of phytoplankton in a changing world

Disentangling the roles of ecology, physiology and evolution in the adaptation of phytoplankton to environmental change.

Toad microbiomes as a defence against pathogenic attack

Culturing bacteria with the potential to protect against Chytridiomycosis infection.

Presence of a resident species aids invader evolution

Interactions between phytoplankton species shape their physiological and evolutionary responses. Yet, studies addressing the evolutionary responses of phytoplankton in changing environments often lack an explicit element of biotic interactions. Here, …

Pre‐dispersal seed predation could help explain premature fruit drop in a tropical forest

1. Pre-dispersal seed mortality caused by premature fruit drop is a potentially important source of plant mortality, but one which has rarely been studied in the context of tropical forest plants. Of particular interest is premature fruit drop …

Why do trees abort their offspring, and what are the effects on biodiversity?

Walking around a tropical forest it is not uncommon to come across unripened fruits on the floor. Trees will often abort the development of their offspring if deemed unlikely to reach adulthood as a plant, allowing them to fall and die.

Microbial pond life in an icy desert

The McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica forms a 50m thick undulating surface of ice floating on the sea. Annual summer thawing of ice and snow causes the formation of thousands of ponds in depressions on the ice.

16S rRNA gene and 18S rRNA gene diversity in microbial mat communities in meltwater ponds on the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica

The undulating ice of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Southern Victoria Land, supports one of the largest networks of ice-based, multiyear meltwater pond habitats in Antarctica, where microbial mats are abundant and contribute most of the biomass and …